Protecting physical assets is a relatively straightforward process that can be accomplished with safes, banks, security systems, etc. Protecting intellectual property, on the other hand, can be extremely challenging — especially in the digital age. Here are six tips that can help you ensure that your ideas remain yours:
- Understand the Type of Protection You Need. There are three different ways to protect intellectual property rights. Patents protect your original design or invention for a period of 15 or 20 years. Trademarks protect brand information (i.e. your company name) indefinitely. Finally, copyrights are used for creative or artistic inventions, such as songs, films, stories, etc.
- Arm Yourself With Knowledge. Some cases may require the hiring of legal counsel: but regardless of whether you will be relying on an expert or not, you should learn as much as you can about intellectual property and your rights.
- Take A Businesslike Approach. Many creative people driven by passion don’t always look at their work in a businesslike way. But by treating your intellectual property like an asset that is worth investing in you can maximize the financial potential of your ideas.
- Respect The Work Of Others. If your work is derivative of another idea, trademark, invention, piece of art, etc. you are best off acknowledging this from the start. If possible, you may wish to reach out and communicate with the original owner of the intellectual rights in order to discuss legal rights and usage.
- Complete Your Ideas Before Introducing them to the World. Songs, inventions, and business ideas are all similar in one regard: they take lots of hard work and revision. While it’s good to be proactive, there is little sense in spending time protecting ideas that are still subject to change.
- Use Non-Disclosure Agreements. When working with third parties, this is hands-down the best way to protect your intellectual property.
Are you a songwriter, musician, filmmaker, or professional creative? RightsIn.com is a unique resource for intellectual property that you should know about. Visit Rights In online today to learn more.